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Abstract

The case study in chapter five has the character of a grounded synthesis of this work’s focus, addressing the multifaceted issue of home in its embeddedness in individual life stories. In this chapter, specific attention is paid to a number of topics of which the dynamics are best explored on the micro-level, and which have thus remained relatively marginal in earlier chapters. These topics are shown to intersect and interweave with the various other themes addressed in this study. By analysing the connected but contrasting stories of two sisters, Latifa and Aziza, it demonstrates the biographical specificity of shared themes such as family, gender, religion and exclusion. These themes are brought together in the unique and complex stories through which the sisters give meaning to their lives and their homes, on scales ranging from the house to the nation and beyond. Moreover, this case study chapter shows how various stories on home feature a number of recurring ‘motives’ which are central to my understanding of ‘home’ as an analytical concept: familiarity, being oneself, agency and communion. The epilogue to this final chapter addresses interviewees’ explicit descriptions of ‘home’, elicited in response to the interviews’ closing question ‘what does home mean to you?’